Dell to Release Pre-installed Linux Desktops, Laptops

News Analysis: Dell will soon become the first major desktop vendor to release mass-market desktops and laptops with pre-installed Linux. (DesktopLinux)

Dell contacted on March 28 to let us know that the company will be releasing select desktop and notebook systems with pre-installed Linux as an option in the coming weeks.

Dell, however, is still playing its Linux cards close to its vest. For example, we do not know at this time which Linux distribution—or distributions—it will be supporting, or what Dell desktop and laptop machines will have pre-installed Linux as an option.

David Lord, a Dell spokesperson, did say, however, that Dell has been listening to its users and that the users want home and office desktops and laptops.

Dells current offering in this area includes the Inspiron and Latitude laptops and the Dimension and OptiPlex desktops.

The new systems, Lord added, will be true pre-installed Linux systems—and not just a PC with a blank hard drive and a bootable CD or DVD. Software support is likely to come from the community, however, rather than from Dell.

Lord added, however, that hardware support on the Dell Linux systems is likely to be the same as it offers on its Windows-powered systems.

According to Lord, Dell will also make buying the new Linux-powered PCs as easy as possible for customers. Specifically how Dell will to do this—making Linux an option in Dells standard sales configuration menu, setting up special pages for Dell Linux systems, or some other approach—the company is not yet ready to say.

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